I am on my way home from Hannover. I’ve been so busy the past few days, I’ve had almost no time to write. The news report from the show will be at Automation World. They paid for the trip.

However, while I was there, I ran into Franz Gruber who is CEO of MES vendor Forcam. The company had previously provided me with a story about how BorgWarner Cooling Systems had implemented the Forcam solution to great benefit in the increase of productivity.

“Forcam’s technology is unique and has exceeded our expectations in all categories important to us: strategy, functionality, costs,” said Martin Strehl, Lean Management Coordinator, BorgWarner Cooling Systems GmbH of Markdorf in the story.

U.S. Automotive Supplier (Auburn Hills, MI), BorgWarner optimized production at their German subsidiary, BorgWarner Cooling Systems, by utilizing FORCAM’s shop floor management technology: Factory Framework. Overall production efficiency in the plant, with a total of 40 machines, increased by 4.3 percent within six months.

Teams from Forcam and BorgWarner in Markdorf developed and implemented an individual, custom-fit production management system (Factory Framework) which systematically collects and processes machine and operating data. Current process states are visualized online and all weak areas are analyzed with precision.

The results:
• Detailed process monitoring and objective evaluation of machinery
• 4.3% increase in productivity in 6 months
• Processes that are synchronized, standardized and designed to meet specific
• Transparency within production orders and machine cycles
• Bottlenecks and weaknesses are immediately recognized and analyzed precisely
• Holistic integration of machines, production orders, personnel, and management in the continuous improvement process
• Standardized key performance indicators (KPIs)
• Target-oriented performance measurement and benchmarking
• Visual management
• Overall plant efficiency continuously measured and improved

Results for the Shop Floor Operator
• Visualization: Real time seamless integration of SAP ERP orders and operations with machine data collection to assist the operator at the shop floor level and increase productivity.
• Fault Code Mapping: Downtime information is collected autonomously directly from the machine controllers or alternatively is logged through operator input.
• Detailed Fault Information: Points of failure are precisely collected at the Worker Client; complete reporting and correction capabilities are available at the Office Client.

Results for the Foreman
• Shift Data Collection: Graphic and tabular display of the latest information including the current shift. All machine details are shown via a mouse click.
• Key Figures: High-quality machine data collection allows for precise information gathering.
• Transparency: Clear and concise overview of all areas as well as possible disruptions and downtimes.

Results for Maintenance
• Detailed Machine Failure Collection: Detailed 7-stage statement of problems, data are organized in SAP ERP in parallel
• Failure “Hit Lists“: Graphically prioritized display sorted by duration

Results for Production Scheduling
• Optimized Planning
• Update of “Actual“ Cycle Times in SAP ERP
• Adjust workplace capacity
• Scheduling and calculation of product costs
• Higher quality data in SAP ERP
• Time bases for production and set-up time for calculation of utilization rates
• Actual versus Target Performance Reporting with analysis of deviations from
• IT support: Recognizing delays and disruptions caused by performance losses
• Detailed scheduling: Reduction in cycle times, holding times, setuup times as well as higher degree of capacity utilization and better information Operational Excellence realized by the synergy between a Shop Floor MES System and Shop Floor CIP Management.

Results for Management
• Comparisons: Comparative reporting and analysis of utilization and operating ratios across all machines, poor planning is easily noticed.
• Performance: Personnel and machine performance are easily viewed.
ANDON: Cyclically updated production data, clean visualization.

“We had already started some optimization measures, but that was not enough. With FORCAM ,we took another step forward and included the machine data in our production optimization. FORCAM offers the newest web technology for ideal production management,” said Jürgen Bischoff, Plant Manager BorgWarner Cooling Systems GmbH.

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